HELPING THROUGH PREVENTION, INTERVENTION & POSTVENTION
This past year has been hard on so many of us. I see often in the news health reports showing increases in loneliness, depression, anxiety and unfortunately suicide. We all need to watch out for each other. This is why organizations such as Suicide Prevention Services (SPS) out of Batavia become so invaluable. SPS’s mission is to open minds, restore hope and save lives through prevention, intervention and postvention.
“My mom, Ellen Weber, died by suicide in 1979,” says Stephanie Weber, Executive Director of Suicide Prevention Services as well as a licensed clinical professional counselor. “At that time, there were no services available for those who had a loved one die from suicide. SPS is one of few organizations in the United States to have prevention, intervention and postvention under one roof.” Their prevention services take the form of education and training through workshops and presentations tailored to the needs of an organization, school or agency. Here they can teach the community warning signs, risk factors, and resources available and put more people on alert. Intervention is their 24/7 Hotline. SPS is one of the centers for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) and has a local depression hotline (630-482-9696) as well. The organization’s therapists are also available to handle walk-ins, appointments and referrals from schools and third parties. Postvention is for the aftermath of suicide including individual and family counseling and their support group, Survivors of Suicide, which is for family members or friends who have survived the death of a loved one. SPS also offers SOSA (Survivors of Suicide Attempts) for anyone who has tried to take their life but lived.
SPS has four major fundraisers a year. The upcoming events are the 5K at the Batavia Riverwalk (June 5th), the “Here for Life Walk” in St. Charles that memorializes loved ones lost to suicide (September 11th), the “Harvest of Hope” Brunch at the Aurora Country Club (November 21st), and their Christmas Eve fundraiser where those who contribute receive a luminaria bag with their loved one’s name written on the front and a lit candle inside that is then placed on the walks of SPS.
Suicide Prevention Services is “Here for Life” and invites the community to attend or volunteer at any of their events. Donations are always welcome. Members of the community can also become involved by training to be a hotline paraprofessional volunteer for the 24/7 hotline. More information about SPS and their services can be found on their website, www.spsamerica.org.